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Today, Yahoo has rolled out two new mobile apps — improved versions of Weather and Mail, old-timer apps that have gotten huge improvements to make them, as a rep said via email, “a little more fun and beautiful.”

We think “little” is an understatement.

The new apps are Yahoo Mail for tablets (iPad and Android tablets, specifically — sorry Surface!) and Yahoo Weather for iOS. Check out the high gloss on these bad boys:

For the Mail app for tablets, Yahoo built in some swiping gestures, some full-screen viewers, and a few other touches appropriate for the larger form factor and the lean-back user experience. The end result is pretty and functional.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX6a3fD2en4&w=558]

But it’s the Weather app that really blows us away. The team at Yahoo took advantage of one of the company’s most-used applications — Flickr — to give the app a modern magazine aesthetic. By using images from the Flickr community to show weather conditions around the world, the Weather app can now illustrate in glorious, full-screen color, the weather that’s happening outside your doors.

The result is amazingly fresh and very much in stride with the apps mobile-first companies are releasing right now.

[flickr video=8660142780 secret=82fb084f83 w=558]

For months, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been promising us a new focus on mobile for this aging, uncool company. That promise has been percolating for the past year or so while Mayer steered Yahoo toward a string of acquisitions — young designers, hot startups, buzzy mobile apps. We’re guessing the new apps released today are part of Mayer’s bigger plan to revamp not just Yahoo’s mobile app lineup but also its image.

That Weather app has all the charm and aesthetic appeal of Facebook Home, one of the coolest apps on the block. If Yahoo can keep up that design standard, it might get its groove back sooner than we expected.

Image credit: TheTechBlock


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